"Dante Cunningham noticed when he reported for work in Minnesota this fall that his new Timberwolves team is unlike any for which he has ever played.
"Day One, we were all in the elevator and I kind of looked up," he said about a crowded ride with many of his new teammates, "and I was just like, 'Where is everybody?' "
Everybody, in this case, being black teammates. Come opening night on Friday, Cunningham will be one of five black players on a 15-man Wolves team that has reversed the National Basketball Association's historical racial percentages with a roster that is the league's whitest since the Boston Celtics teams of the 1980s.
Raised in Washington, D.C., and educated at Villanova, Cunningham played his first four professional seasons for three different teams in a league where American-born black players constituted 78 percent of roster spots last season and have been at least 75 percent since 1991-92.
Twin Cities black leaders have noticed, suggesting the franchise strategically has rolled back the calendar by decades in a league that long has been at the forefront of diversity among America's professional sports leagues.
"How did we get a roster that resembles the 1955 Lakers?" asked Tyrone Terrell, chairman of St. Paul's African American leadership council. "I think everything is a strategy. Nothing happens by happenstance.""
tell me what you guys think of this? some of my family grew up knowing the guy who wrote this article and has also made a few other comments about the white wolves, my mom says he always seemed racist towards white people..
personally, i think its stupid- race shouldnt matter, it should be how good of a basketball player you are.
we finally put together a good team, and people are trying to discredit us by being a "white team" this is pitiful.
sure, jokes are fine every now and then- but some of these people are really being serious and trying to make an issue out of it.